I will never forget my first go at Kraft Macaroni and Cheese. That oddly orange goodness that somehow adheres to an all-too thin macaroni. I was nine, and my family had just moved to Canada. And so began a new love affair with North American packaged processed foods… Even if my mom always put way too much milk in and it was more like KD soup.
Slurpees too*. I couldn’t believe my fresh-off-the-boat luck when the neighbour kids showed me the ropes. I lost my slurpinity to a sweet cream soda, so brilliantly pink you wonder how my flesh didn’t turn so. Like a flamingo, or salmon.
Since quitting plastic there have been countless moments of temptation. They usually involve a slow sulky saunter past the desired item, with a possible longing caress of the package..as if to say, I am here, sweet perogie but I cannot have you. You must remain there in your suffocating sack for someone else to conveniently enjoy. Then, generally you exchange some kind of affirmative glance with your partner and move along.
When I was pregnant, the one and only time I got super sick was after I gave into a rare craving for packaged instant noodles. I spent the evening throwing up on the driveway. But I can remember the days when I ate those ones with the plastic film over a styrofoam cup. You pour boiling water in, after which these desiccated lumps of long past-due vegetables float to the surface, swimming in this kind of salty oily brine. I can picture that al-dente wrinkly pea bobbing in there, next to a small cube of carrot. What an unnatural shape for a carrot. Like really truly that is sick food.
My boyfriend and I recently thought it would fun to just go shop for any groceries we wanted, regardless of their packaging. But then we tried to list the things we would actually buy different. Neither could come up with much of anything. We agreed we wouldn’t enjoy any of those old things we thought we missed so dearly. Having seen the light, that food just doesn’t taste good anymore.
But the perogie! Say it ain’t so!? We had some in the freezer as a prop for our documentary. After, we ate them. Quite frankly they were gross. It came as a surprise when even my boyfriend- a total food pig- didn’t go for the last few in the pan.
It was a good 26 year stint.
* You can get plastic free slurpees. Bring your own glass and straw. They won’t know what hit them, but just take a sip, smile, and slam the change on the counter before they can argue.